Mass immunization drill to take place at UofL Health Sciences Center Campus

WHAT: The University of Louisville will stage a mass immunization drill Tuesday, July 31 to test an emergency preparedness plan developed by Ruth Carrico, associate professor, UofL School of Medicine, division of infectious diseases, and her team.

Beginning at noon, nearly 50 UofL School of Nursing students will be notified electronically every 15 minutes to staff a staged immunization distribution site. A tent will be set-up on the Health Sciences Center quad located off Preston Street, across from the dental school. The students will receive brief training, and then begin giving out popsicles, which serve as surrogate flu vaccines. They hope to give away 1,000 popsicles to the public.

Those attending the drill will fill out a form indicating whether they are diabetic and need a sugar-free popsicle – this mimics the flu vaccine form which asks questions about egg allergies and preferred vaccine delivery method – either injection or intranasal. Students will administer a napkin instead of a Band-Aid, and practice infection prevention by using hand sanitizer.

“This drill will demonstrate whether our notification system works properly, and will test students on their ability to arrive on-site in a timely manner, interact effectively with the public and make appropriate decisions related to immunization distribution,” Carrico said.

The public is invited to take part in the drill and receive a free popsicle.

WHERE: UofL Health Sciences Center quad located on Preston St. across from the School of Dentistry, 501 S. Preston St.

WHEN :1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WHY: This event is one of the last steps in completing work on a $250,000 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) grant that includes development of a curriculum and a drill to be used by nursing schools to train and mobilize students. Mobilization could occur at the request of a public health entity or one of the School of Nursing’s national partners such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Reasons include community outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (e.g., pertussis, measles, hepatitis A) or a mass response involving shelters where individuals can go to receive health care assistance following a major natural disaster. Nurses and nursing students could administer insulin for diabetics, offer nebulizer treatments for children with asthma and help individuals with tracheostomies, feeding tubes, or IV lines.

“The use of student nurses is endless and of incredible importance to the well-being of any community,” Carrico said.

Following the drill on July 31, Carrico will use an evaluation that aligns with Kentucky’s emergency preparedness and response procedures.

The project is in collaboration with the UofL Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health & Information Sciences, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Bellarmine Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences.


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